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How to Pick the Right Makeup Artist School near Birmingham Alabama

Birmingham Alabama makeup school student applying makeup on womanSince you have decided to become a cosmetologist and attend a makeup artist school near Birmingham AL, the task begins to find and enroll in the ideal school. It's important that the school you pick not only provides the appropriate education for the specialty you have decided on, but also preps you for passing the licensing exam. When you start your initial search, you might be somewhat puzzled about the contrast between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the names are pretty much interchangeable and both refer to the same kind of school. We'll discuss a little bit more concerning that in the upcoming segment. If you intend on commuting to classes you will need to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham home. Tuition will additionally be a critical consideration when evaluating potential schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the closest or the cheapest it's not automatically the best choice. There are a number of other considerations that you should evaluate when analyzing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask about the cosmetology schools you are looking at later in this article. Before we do, let's talk a bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of programs are offered.

Defining Cosmetology

Birmingham Alabama makeup artist viewing bride's wedding makeupCosmetology is an occupation that is everything about making the human body look more attractive through the application of cosmetics. So of course it makes sense that many cosmetology schools are described as beauty schools. Many of us think of makeup when we hear the word cosmetics, but really a cosmetic can be anything that improves the look of a person's skin, hair or nails. If you want to work as a cosmetologist, the majority of states require that you undergo some kind of specialized training and then become licensed. Once you are licensed, the work environments include not only Birmingham AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such places as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have acquired experience and a customer base, launch their own shops or salons. Others will begin seeing customers either in their own residences or will travel to the client's house, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many titles and work in a wide range of specialties including:

• Hairdressers
• Hairstylists
• Beauticians
• Barbers
• Manicurists
• Nail Technicians
Makeup Artists
• Hair Coloring Specialists
• Estheticians
• Electrolysis Technicians


As already mentioned, in the majority of states working cosmetologists must be licensed. In certain states there is an exemption. Only those performing more skilled services, such as hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people working in cosmetology and less skilled, including shampooers, are not required to get licensed in those states.

Makeup Artist Degree Options

Birmingham Alabama makeup artist applying lip gloss on modelThere are basically two pathways available to obtain makeup artist training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can pursue an Associate's degree. Certificate programs normally call for 12 to 18 months to complete, while an Associate's degree commonly takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be trained in all of the main areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you want to specialize in just one area, for instance makeup. A degree program will also probably incorporate management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to run a parlor or other Birmingham AL business. Higher degrees are not prevalent, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whichever type of course you decide on, it's imperative to make certain that it's approved by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain reputable organizations, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will examine the benefits of accreditation for the school you choose in the upcoming segment.

Online Makeup Programs

Online makeup artist courses are convenient for students who are employed full time and have family commitments that make it hard to attend a more traditional school. There are a large number of web-based cosmetology school programs available that can be accessed via a home computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More traditional beauty schools are typically fast paced given that many courses are as short as six or eight months. This means that a considerable portion of time is spent in the classroom. With online programs, you are dealing with the same volume of material, but you are not devoting many hours away from your home or commuting back and forth from classes. However, it's important that the school you choose can provide internship training in nearby Birmingham AL salons and parlors in order that you also receive the hands-on training needed for a comprehensive education. Without the internship part of the training, it's difficult to acquire the skills needed to work in any facet of the cosmetology profession. So be sure if you choose to enroll in an online school to confirm that internship training is available in your area.

What to Ask Makeup Beauty Schools

makeup artist applying makeup on woman in Birmingham Alabama salonFollowing is a list of questions that you will want to research for any makeup artist training program you are contemplating. As we have previously covered, the location of the school relative to your Birmingham home, together with the expense of tuition, will undoubtedly be your primary qualifiers. Whether you wish to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school options based on those preliminary qualifications, there are even more factors that you should research and consider before enrolling in a makeup program. Below we have collected several of those additional questions that you should ask each school before making a final decision.

Is the Program Accredited? It's important to make certain that the makeup college you choose is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged local or national organization, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must meet their high standards assuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be important for getting student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not obtainable for non- accredited schools. It's also a requirement for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, numerous Birmingham AL businesses will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.

Does the School have a Good Reputation?  Every makeup artist school that you are seriously considering should have a good to outstanding reputation within the profession. Being accredited is an excellent beginning. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of Birmingham AL businesses where they have referred their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly demanded. Visit rating companies for reviews together with the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts with area salon owners or managers, or someone working in the field, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are reviewing. They might even be able to suggest others that you had not looked into. And last, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.

What’s the School’s Focus?  Some cosmetology schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, focusing on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a specific specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs typically broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's essential that you decide on a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your goal is to be trained as a makeup artist, make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited and well regarded for that program. If your vision is to open a beauty salon in Birmingham AL, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Picking a highly ranked school with a weak program in the specialty you are seeking will not deliver the training you require.

Is Any Live Training Provided?  Practicing and perfecting makeup techniques and abilities requires plenty of practice on volunteers. Check how much live, hands-on training is provided in the Birmingham AL cosmetology classes you will be attending. Some schools have salons on campus that allow students to practice their developing skills on volunteers. If a makeup academy furnishes minimal or no scheduled live training, but instead relies predominantly on using mannequins, it might not be the best alternative for cultivating your skills. So search for other schools that provide this kind of training.

Does the School Provide Job Assistace?  As soon as a student graduates from a makeup academy, it's important that she or he receives assistance in landing that first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that provide assistance maintain relationships with local businesses that are searching for qualified graduates available for hiring. Check that the programs you are contemplating have job placement programs and ask which Birmingham AL salons and organizations they refer students to. In addition, ask what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only verify that they have extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.

Is Financial Assistance Offered?  Many cosmetology schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the Birmingham AL makeup schools you are looking at have a financial aid office. Consult with a counselor and learn what student loans or grants you might qualify for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships accessible to students also. If a school fulfills each of your other qualifications except for expense, do not omit it as an option before you learn what financial aid may be available.

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Pick the Right Birmingham Makeup Artist Beauty School

Selecting and enrolling in the ideal makep program is important to obtain the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology specialist. Be sure to ask all the questions that you need to in order to feel certain about your decision. Be sure to compile all of the information you get from the makeup school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then use that information to compare schools. A good start in your due diligence process is to make sure that the institution and program you pick are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the field. If you start with that foundation, and answer the additional questions supplied in this post, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the right choice. And when you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be self-assured that you are ready to start your new career as a professional makeup artist in Birmingham Alabama.


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